An augmented reality startup, Magic Leap, (whom everyone seems to find mysterious) has positively gained some more mystique quotient with the Google (and not Google Ventures) led $542 million Series B financing that it announced on Tuesday.
There was participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Legendary Entertainment, including a personal investment from CEO Thomas Tull, KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and other investors. Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google Inc. and Don Harrison, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. along with Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated will join the board of directors.
In February after its Series A funding round, Rony Abovitz, President, CEO & Founder of Magic Leap, Inc. had said, “Magic Leapʼs mission is to develop and commercialize what we believe will be the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world.”
Magic Leap’s flagship product in the pipeline is a mobile and wearable device for the eyes, with the hardware and software designed by Magic Leap which unlike other augmented reality devices like Oculus Rift where the output is “flat and floating in space at a set distance” according to Recode, is able to project accurate images onto the eyes, making it possible to see virtual 3-D objects as if they were part of the real world, Mr. Abovitz told WSJ. However, little else is known about the biomedical engineer led startup based in Florida.
Mr. Abovitz believes Magic Leap could be the new interface that could replace the PC monitors and smartphone screens that define the modern era of computing.
“It was incredibly natural and almost jarring — you’re in the room, and there’s a dragon flying around, it’s jaw-dropping and I couldn’t get the smile off of my face,” Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Pictures, told WSJ.
Experts claim that, backed by Google the company doesn’t have any plans to pair its device with Google Glass. It will however need an FDA approval for usage of “object occlusion” – since it involves projecting and tracking of the eyeballs.
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(Image credit: Magic Leap)